Carnal hermeneutics and the digital game

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Carnal hermeneutics claims that the body makes sense of the world by making distinctions and evaluating those distinctions in a non-predicative mode. This article makes the case that ludohermeneutics can be enriched by attending to the way in which the body makes sense of digital games and advances carnal hermeneutics as a way of theorising this process. The article introduces carnal hermeneutics, argues for its relevance to ludo-hermeneutics, and outlines three examples of how carnal hermeneutics can be used to theorise sense-making in digital games. The first example demonstrates the capacity for touch-screen games to put us in a new relationship with the image. The second example shows how generic control schemas can take on new meanings in different games. The third example shows how marketing of game controllers draws on conventional attitudes to touch to make digital game touch meaningful.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Philosophy of Games
Issue number1
Early online date14 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2019


  • carnal hermeneutics
  • interpretation
  • phenomenology
  • Merleau-Ponty
  • close reading
  • embodiment


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